Buying a new home is an exciting adventure, but it also comes with its fair share of uncertainty. If you're buying a pre-owned property, it's important that you know exactly what you're getting into as far as possible plumbing repairs. Unfortunately, many pre-closing home inspections don't include a thorough examination of the plumbing system. Buyers need to be aware of this and consider hiring a licensed plumber to inspect all parts of the plumbing systems.
However, if you're walking through a property and want to do a little DIY plumbing inspection, consider the following checklist:
- Turn on the faucets to check for leaks.
- Flush the toilets and check for clogs.
- Listen for toilets that run.
- Turn on the garbage disposal to make sure it works.
- Check for loose faucets, shower heads, and other taps.
- Pay close attention to how plumbing smells. Does anything smell like rotten eggs?
- Look for water stains on walls and ceilings for possible hidden leaks.
- Test the sump pump, if one is installed.
- Inspect basements for puddling and other signs of water.
- Look for mold.
- Check for wobbly toilets.
- Go outside and test the outdoor spigots. Make sure there aren't any leaks.
- Look under kitchen and bathroom sinks for water damage.
- Run the water and watch for any drips under the sink.
These are easy things that any buyer can test for when touring a home. However, if you're serious about making an offer on the home, you need an in-depth inspection.
Professional Plumbing Inspection
Hiring a local plumber to inspect the home's plumbing allows you to buy with confidence. You know that you aren't going to be sidelined by major plumbing problems before the ink is dry on the closing papers.
Professional plumbing inspections for new homebuyers should include the following:
- Sewer line inspection service: This service involves using a sewer camera to look for any abnormalities in the sewer line that might lead to failure. Potential problems include cracks, tree root intrusion, bellied pipes, brittle pipes, and large blockages.
- Water main line: Sewer lines aren't the only exterior pipes that cause problems. If the water main line is corroded or otherwise damaged, you'll end up with leaks and a huge water bill. These problems must be fixed.
- Slab leak detection: Some leaks can't be seen with the naked eye, and these leaks tend to be the worse. These are the leaks that affect the structural integrity of your home and lead to thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs. Hiring a plumber to perform electronic leak detection for hidden leaks is a must.
After the Inspection
Once the inspection is complete, the plumber should go over the cost to make repairs or replacements and provide you with a list of the problems. New homebuyers can give this list to their Realtor to negotiate for repairs or money to make repairs after the home is bought.
Don't be afraid to inspect the plumbing of any home you're interested in buying. Although there are the upfront costs involved in hiring a plumber, it's money saved in the long run. Call yours today.